Rarely do you see the CEO of a $180 billion company care much about its warehouse workers.
Since 2012, Amazon has offered a program called “Career Choice,” where the company pays 95% of tuition for its fulfillment and customer service center employees to take courses in non-work related fields, such as airplane mechanics, nursing, and medical lab technologies. The program offers up $3,000 a year for 95% of the tuition, in addition to another 95% of textbook costs.
And according to Bezos’ annual shareholder letter published Friday, more than 2,000 employees from 8 different countries took advantage of this program. In fact, demand has been so high that Amazon now offers onsite courses at 8 of its fulfillment centers, with plans to expand even further to other regions.
The idea behind this is to “enable choice” for his employees, Bezos writes. While some fulfillment center employees will carve out a long career at Amazon, some might take it as a temporary stop to a different position that, in some cases, may require specific skills. Bezos writes:
“We believe Career Choice is an innovative way to draw great talent to serve customers in our fulfillment and customer service centers. These jobs can become gateways to great careers with Amazon as we expand around the world or enable employees the opportunity to follow their passion in other in-demand technical fields, like our very first Career Choice graduate did when she started a new career as a nurse in her community.”